Opening Ceremonies Held for Giragossian Building

VALLEY ARMENIANS CELEBRATE COMPLETION OF BUILDING TO REALIZE CHURCH–SHOOL AND ADMINSTRATIVE COMPLEX TO SERVE COMMUNITY

ENCINO–More than 250 Armenian community members–Prelate Moushegh Mardirossian–ARF CC members Harout Donoian–Armand Keosian–and Hagop Tufenkian–as well as benefactors–supporters–members of affiliated organizations–and guests gathered on Saturday–February 22 for the official opening of a new building in the Ferrahian School and Holy Martyrs Church Complex.

The long-time dream of the valley Armenian community to construct a complex to include a school–church–and administrative center was finally realized due to the undying efforts and commitment of not only the faithful community but also the ARF Rostom Gomideh.

Prelate Mardirossian and spiritual leader of Holy Martyrs Church Rev. Razmig Khatchadourian conducted a special ceremony in blessing the new building. They were accompanied by the benefactors of the new building Osko and Yeran Giragossian–the Sarafian and Chakian families who have also contributed generously toward construction–the chairman of the Rostom Gomideh Garo Kamarian–and the Board of Trustees of Holy Martyrs Church. After the blessing–Osko and Yeran Giragossian conducted the official opening of the building with a ribbon cutting ceremony.

The new building will provide offices not only for Ferrahian’s administration and the church (located at the front of the building)–but will also house the organizational offices of the ARF–ARS–Homenetmen–Hamazkaine–and AYF (located at the rear of the building).

Although the building bears the name of benefactors Osko and Yeran Giragossian–several offices within the building are dedicated to the memory of specific individuals. The principal’s office of Ferrahian School is named after George Osko Giragossian–the father of Mr. Giragossian. The Holy Martyrs Church hall is named in the memory of Yeghia Sarafian. Mr. Sarafian’s widow–Mrs. Valantine Sarafian conducted the ribbon cutting for the hall; she also pledged to pick up the costs of furnishing the hall.

Mr. and Mrs. Krikor and Shake Chakian–who provided funds for the construction of the church’s administrative offices conducted the ribbon cutting for its opening–with the pastor’s office named in the memory of Marie Kurkjian.

Note that the Rostom Gomideh’s conference room is named after benefactor Avedissian’s father Hratch Avedissian.

Donors Mr. and Mrs. Arpiar and Rita Demirjian donated $15.000 to ARF Rostom Gomideh and had the honor of conducting the ribbon cutting for the Rostom Gomideh’s office that bears the name of Yeghia and Vergine Gorgodian–uncle of Mrs. Rita Demirjian.

The evening was continued at the Ferrahian Avedissian hall with a banquet and program. Peglar Pilavjian served as the Master of Ceremonies. Various members of the community spoke–including George Bedigian–who on behalf of the Board of Trustees of Holy Martyrs church–expressed gratitude to everyone in helping to realize ARF Rostom Gomideh’s longtime dream.

The principal of Ferrahian School John Kossakian stressed the physical and moral importance of having a school–a church and a center on the same premises.

Armand Keosian presented the overall history of the complex–emphasizing the unceasing efforts of the then Apovian Gomideh in not only constructing the original building–but also in preserving the Armenian spirit in the community.

On behalf of Rostom Gomideh Garo Kamarian presented the benefactors with special plaques of appreciation and spoke of the unceasing will of the Tashnagtsagan spirit in achieving its goals. Kamarian concluded by thanking the Giragossian and Chakian families as well as Mrs. Sarafian for their continuous donations–and revealed that the Girogissians have pledged and additional $30.000–half of which has been donated to the Rostom Gomideh.

Karamian then invited the building’s architect Karnig Sarkisian to the stand–and presented to him a special plaque bearing the ARF insignia. Karamian proudly announced that Sarkisian has pledged $20,000 to remodel the courtyard of the complex–asking that it be named after Kapriel Injejikian who served as principal during Sarkissian’s days at Ferrahian.

Touched by the honor–Ferrahian’s first principal Injejikian congratulated Sarkissian for his efforts and generosity.

In closing–Prelate Moushegh Mardirossian compared the project to a wise man–"who always builds his house on the top of the mountain."

The undertaking featured a special informational brochure about the history of Holy Martyrs church–meticulously produced by Hagop and Knar Manjikian.

At the end of the ceremony–MC Peglar Pilavjian announced that the generous donations that evening totaled $100,000–to include $5,000 each from Koko Topalian–Valantine Sarafian and the Church’s Board of Trustees–$3,000 from Hamazkaine San Fernando Valley and $2,000 from the ARS Anahid Chapter–in addition to the generous donations mentioned above and those made by the faithful members of the community.

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